Football Leaks: Manchester City accused of using shadow firms to flout rules

ExecutionerWasp001

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Yeah 98-99 was one of the 3 years we were the biggest spenders in the PL under Fergie along with 2001-02 and 2002-03 unsurprisingly as that was after the wage structure was broken and Martin Edwards stepped aside. In between those years though in 99-00 and 00-01 we spent pretty conservatively only spending £17-18m over 4 windows.

https://www.football365.com/news/the-biggest-spender-in-every-pl-season-and-how-they-fared

Total myth usually spouted to diminish United's achievements under SAF and sadly sometimes naively regurgitated by United's fans too. To only outspend his rivals 3 times in 21 years and yet win 13 titles, the man was a fecking genius.

Wow, it just shows that even as a Utd fan i've been hoodwinked by the media & rival supporters. I always thought we were the big spenders in the PL era. It's unbelievable what we accomplished & put's what Blackburn, Chelsea & City have accomplished into real perspective.
 

andyox

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Wow, it just shows that even as a Utd fan i've been hoodwinked by the media & rival supporters. I always thought we were the big spenders in the PL era. It's unbelievable what we accomplished & put's what Blackburn, Chelsea & City have accomplished into real perspective.
Aside from City and Chelsea (the oil clubs), United are the biggest spenders of the PL era due to consistently relatively high spending. It's just that United have rarely been the biggest spenders each season/transfer window. Obviously the difference is that United's spending (unlike City and Chelsea's) has been funded via revenue generated. Class of 92 saved a bit of cash too!

All successful teams have to spend a lot of money (although not all teams who spend a lot of money have been successful). So not surprising given United's long record of PL success over so many years that you've spent a decent wedge of cash to maintain such a high level of competitiveness.
 
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B20

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The thing is, I don't actually mind sugar daddies injecting cash into clubs up to a certain extent.

Something like being allowed to inject money to make up the difference between annual revenue of the club and the annual revenue of the top revenue club in the league from the most recently declared report (so probably from the season before it) would make sense to me. Even if it still meant that clubs like city and chelsea would be able to outspend us - It would allow lesser clubs to become competitive.

City and PSG putting state-level money into a city-based club game is orders of magnitude away from that. Taken the piss and then wilfully violated the rules and then made every effort to conceal their violations. Should be docked any number of points and ejected from the CL.
 

andyox

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The thing is, I don't actually mind sugar daddies injecting cash into clubs up to a certain extent.

Something like being allowed to inject money to make up the difference between annual revenue of the club and the annual revenue of the top revenue club in the league from the most recently declared report (so probably from the season before it) would make sense to me. Even if it still meant that clubs like city and chelsea would be able to outspend us - It would allow lesser clubs to become competitive.

City and PSG putting state-level money into a city-based club game is orders of magnitude away from that. Taken the piss and then wilfully violated the rules and then made every effort to conceal their violations. Should be docked any number of points and ejected from the CL.
Not seen that idea before, I like it. It would be interesting to see how many clubs could attract owners willing to put in that level of investment, but perhaps more might step forward if there was a clearer path to competing (and this idea might help that).

I also think that any investment put in by owners should be in the form of equity, not debt saddled onto the club. That way, if the owner does decide to walk away, he/she can't try to recoup that from the club (and potentially bankrupt it).
 

decorativeed

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Yeah 98-99 was one of the 3 years we were the biggest spenders in the PL under Fergie along with 2001-02 and 2002-03 unsurprisingly as that was after the wage structure was broken and Martin Edwards stepped aside. In between those years though in 99-00 and 00-01 we spent pretty conservatively only spending £17-18m over 4 windows.

https://www.football365.com/news/the-biggest-spender-in-every-pl-season-and-how-they-fared

Total myth usually spouted to diminish United's achievements under SAF and sadly sometimes naively regurgitated by United's fans too. To only outspend his rivals 3 times in 21 years and yet win 13 titles, the man was a fecking genius.
That article actually gets Ferdinand's fee wrong, which means City outspent us that season too, after they were promoted in 2002. He actually cost £27.5m.
 

ghagua

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Nothing new here. Even if they are found guilty, they will be slapped with a small fine. Doesn't take a genius to figure out what City are doing to get around the rules.
 

Sassy Colin

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Yeah 98-99 was one of the 3 years we were the biggest spenders in the PL under Fergie along with 2001-02 and 2002-03 unsurprisingly as that was after the wage structure was broken and Martin Edwards stepped aside. In between those years though in 99-00 and 00-01 we spent pretty conservatively only spending £17-18m over 4 windows.

https://www.football365.com/news/the-biggest-spender-in-every-pl-season-and-how-they-fared

Total myth usually spouted to diminish United's achievements under SAF and sadly sometimes naively regurgitated by United's fans too. To only outspend his rivals 3 times in 21 years and yet win 13 titles, the man was a fecking genius.
If anything illustrates how financial doping has ruined the transfer market, it is that link.

As soon as Chelski came in, it all went mental and then City took up the mantle.
 

stevoc

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Wow, it just shows that even as a Utd fan i've been hoodwinked by the media & rival supporters. I always thought we were the big spenders in the PL era. It's unbelievable what we accomplished & put's what Blackburn, Chelsea & City have accomplished into real perspective.
Big time, United spent no doubt and sometimes big on key signings but this myth has developed that Ferguson outspent his rivals every year which is unfair.

Aside from City and Chelsea (the oil clubs), United are the biggest spenders of the PL era due to consistently relatively high spending. It's just that United have rarely been the biggest spenders each season/transfer window. Obviously the difference is that United's spending (unlike City and Chelsea's) has been funded via revenue generated. Class of 92 saved a bit of cash too!

All successful teams have to spend a lot of money (although not all teams who spend a lot of money have been successful). So not surprising given United's long record of PL success over so many years that you've spent a decent wedge of cash to maintain such a high level of competitiveness.
Thats the case now in 2019 but it wasn't true before Ferguson retired, United have spent £1.3 billion since 1992 but more than half of that has been since 2013. Up until Fergusons retirement Liverpool had spent more in the PL era. And United weren't too far in front of Arsenal, Spurs or Everton in terms of money spent either.

That article actually gets Ferdinand's fee wrong, which means City outspent us that season too, after they were promoted in 2002. He actually cost £27.5m.
The Ferdinand fee then and more recently has been reported as anything from £27.5 to £30m+ so i've no idea what the actual fee was. But even if it was £30.6m it means we only outspent the next club by a few hundred thousand which wasn't much even back then.
 

stevoc

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If anything illustrates how financial doping has ruined the transfer market, it is that link.

As soon as Chelski came in, it all went mental and then City took up the mantle.
Definitely mate Chelsea and City were regularly dropping £120m+ in transfer windows from 2003-2009 onwards United didn't even reach that level of spending until 2014. And i doubt we'll get anywhere near the £280m City spent last season for a while yet.
 

Hughie77

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Investigation going on by uefa, and premier league, off shore payments about image rights etc, there's to much information which is wrong can't all be bullshit.
Can see now why there's so much speculation that st pep is off to juve? We wait and see.
 

tomaldinho1

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Investigation going on by uefa, and premier league, off shore payments about image rights etc, there's to much information which is wrong can't all be bullshit.
Can see now why there's so much speculation that st pep is off to juve? We wait and see.
Everyone has been saying it for too long for there not to be any truth in the matter. It's like the PL was too scared to do anything until UEFA did it first, now everyone is piling in as they know something fishy is going on.
 

decorativeed

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The Ferdinand fee then and more recently has been reported as anything from £27.5 to £30m+ so i've no idea what the actual fee was. But even if it was £30.6m it means we only outspent the next club by a few hundred thousand which wasn't much even back then.
Leeds took a reduced final payment for him, so we paid less than the initially agreed £29.3m: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/l/leeds_united/3436825.stm

Everyone quotes the earlier fee, and point to that as evidence of our profligate spending, as if we were spending that type of money on multiple players every year. In actuality, we would spend big on an individual player every now and then, but our overall spending was more often than not considerably lower than our rivals. That's illustrated well by that season, where we broke a record, but were outspent by a newly promoted side.
 

andyox

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Thats the case now in 2019 but it wasn't true before Ferguson retired, United have spent £1.3 billion since 1992 but more than half of that has been since 2013. Up until Fergusons retirement Liverpool had spent more in the PL era. And United weren't too far in front of Arsenal, Spurs or Everton in terms of money spent either.
Yea makes sense. Ferguson leaving coincided with your squad needing a bit of an overhaul and quite significant transfer inflation.

I'm not having a go at United's spending at all by the way. I was just slightly broadening the picture -- it's true that United were not always the biggest individual spenders each season, but still equally true that you consistently have spent decent money when needed to maintain your position (rightly so). Even comparing figures of how much each club has spent since 1992 is pretty misleading due to inflation.

I think it'd be an interesting question, if you ignore that FFP now exists, to try to work out how much a mid-table team would have to spend now to become part of the top 4. I don't mean a one-off like Leicester's title win, I mean a regular fixture in the top 4. You'd have to spend a lot of money very quickly (like City did) to attract new players to a less glamorous team, pay massive wages, and make sure your best players couldn't get picked off. You'd also have to go through a cycle of probably constructing a squad of very good players who you can attract initially, and then reconstruct with title-winning players once you've proven you're a potential contender. Given transfer inflation, I imagine you'd need to spend more than City spent (given the recent transfer inflation) to make e.g. Bournemouth a regular CL team. It's mega money.
 

stevoc

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Leeds took a reduced final payment for him, so we paid less than the initially agreed £29.3m: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/l/leeds_united/3436825.stm

Everyone quotes the earlier fee, and point to that as evidence of our profligate spending, as if we were spending that type of money on multiple players every year. In actuality, we would spend big on an individual player every now and then, but our overall spending was more often than not considerably lower than our rivals. That's illustrated well by that season, where we broke a record, but were outspent by a newly promoted side.
Ah nice find mate cheers, i hadn't heard of that info before.

So only 2 seasons out of 21 then we were the biggest spenders.
 

Bearded One

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3 years ban from the transfer market and relegation to leage 1 would be about right .
 

stevoc

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Yea makes sense. Ferguson leaving coincided with your squad needing a bit of an overhaul and quite significant transfer inflation.

I'm not having a go at United's spending at all by the way. I was just slightly broadening the picture -- it's true that United were not always the biggest individual spenders each season, but still equally true that you consistently have spent decent money when needed to maintain your position (rightly so). Even comparing figures of how much each club has spent since 1992 is pretty misleading due to inflation.
Didn't think you were mate, what you said was correct but i was just adding a bit of context. Ferguson spent lots of money i think he was a genius but he wasn't a magician, so while we weren't the biggest spenders we were one of them. Realistically you have to be to maintain a club at the top and consistently win titles.


I think it'd be an interesting question, if you ignore that FFP now exists, to try to work out how much a mid-table team would have to spend now to become part of the top 4. I don't mean a one-off like Leicester's title win, I mean a regular fixture in the top 4. You'd have to spend a lot of money very quickly (like City did) to attract new players to a less glamorous team, pay massive wages, and make sure your best players couldn't get picked off. You'd also have to go through a cycle of probably constructing a squad of very good players who you can attract initially, and then reconstruct with title-winning players once you've proven you're a potential contender. Given transfer inflation, I imagine you'd need to spend more than City spent (given the recent transfer inflation) to make e.g. Bournemouth a regular CL team. It's mega money.
Ii is and i think theres a lot of variables that come into play, how good their current squad and manager are. How good their academy and scouting networks are. Truth is it would be different for different clubs but whatever the number is it would cost a lot more now (even taking inflation into consideration) than it would have done 15-20 years ago before Abramovic and Abu Dhabi came onto the scene.

In the 90's a decent cash injection propelled smaller clubs like Blackburn, Newcastle and Leeds not only into the top 4 but title contention. Thats not possible today without state backing beyond the odd anomaly like Leicester.
 

andyox

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Ii is and i think theres a lot of variables that come into play, how good their current squad and manager are. How good their academy and scouting networks are. Truth is it would be different for different clubs but whatever the number is it would cost a lot more now (even taking inflation into consideration) than it would have done 15-20 years ago before Abramovic and Abu Dhabi came onto the scene.

In the 90's a decent cash injection propelled smaller clubs like Blackburn, Newcastle and Leeds not only into the top 4 but title contention. Thats not possible today without state backing beyond the odd anomaly like Leicester.
Yea agreed, it'd be astronomical now. And I think it would need to be done very quickly, not step by step to avoid cherry-picking.

I look at a club like Southampton, who over the years did a lot of things very well, with a combination of great academy players (Walcott, Bale, Ox, etc.), great scouting (VVD, Mane, Tadic, etc.), and decent managers (Pochettino, Koeman), but all those players (and managers!) got picked off so the reality is they're still stuck mid-table. I don't think there's any way around the fact that even with a great academy/scouting/manager, you'd still need that extra kick of mega-money backing to hold everything together and make it to the top quickly enough to survive. The big clubs have so much more money and move so quickly to cherry-pick now, and players (there are exceptions obviously) seem to have no patience to wait it out cos they're desperate for silverware/CL football.

To bring it back to the original thread topic, ADUG came in with a plan to provide the required outside investment to make City a top team. FFP rules came in mid-way through ADUG's plan and restricted that investment. So to continue "the project" we used every creative means possible to cheat FFP. No idea if we'll get punished, or what the punishment will be, but whatever it is I think it'll probably have been worth it (from the perspective of a City fan seeing us lift trophies, on the basis that sadly we probably could never have done it another way).

So in the FFP era, will any mid-table team be able to breakthrough? I'd genuinely like to see it, but I doubt it.
 

stevoc

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Yea agreed, it'd be astronomical now. And I think it would need to be done very quickly, not step by step to avoid cherry-picking.

I look at a club like Southampton, who over the years did a lot of things very well, with a combination of great academy players (Walcott, Bale, Ox, etc.), great scouting (VVD, Mane, Tadic, etc.), and decent managers (Pochettino, Koeman), but all those players (and managers!) got picked off so the reality is they're still stuck mid-table. I don't think there's any way around the fact that even with a great academy/scouting/manager, you'd still need that extra kick of mega-money backing to hold everything together and make it to the top quickly enough to survive. The big clubs have so much more money and move so quickly to cherry-pick now, and players (there are exceptions obviously) seem to have no patience to wait it out cos they're desperate for silverware/CL football.

To bring it back to the original thread topic, ADUG came in with a plan to provide the required outside investment to make City a top team. FFP rules came in mid-way through ADUG's plan and restricted that investment. So to continue "the project" we used every creative means possible to cheat FFP. No idea if we'll get punished, or what the punishment will be, but whatever it is I think it'll probably have been worth it (from the perspective of a City fan seeing us lift trophies, on the basis that sadly we probably could never have done it another way).

So in the FFP era, will any mid-table team be able to breakthrough? I'd genuinely like to see it, but I doubt it.
I don't have a major problem with City creating fake sponsorships as for the most part it's kept their owners honest. And by that i mean they have only ever been able to spend within reason of what a top club generating legitimate revenue should be able to spend (the 2017 summer window aside). I don't mind other clubs being able to spend as much as United as thats good for competition. In that respect FFP has been a good thing also as without it City's and PSG's owners could have spent £400-500m every summer. That would have destroyed football and i'm sure even more clubs would be Gulf state owned right now. With the Champions League reduced to nothing more than a middle east pissing contest.

The lack of potential for mid-table sides to break into the top 4 is bad for football long term i feel. And while FFP is an impediment to that the reality is that inflation in the transfer market is a bigger obstacle now. It has inflated to such an extent now that without state backing no mid-table side is ever breaking into the top 4 regularly. And while that rapid inflation hasn't all been the fault of Oil clubs it certainly didn't help, 20 years ago the World transfer record was £21m now its £200m. PSG more than doubling the world transfer record only 12 months after it was broken by £8-9m was the last nail in the coffin for any hopes smaller teams had to ever crack the top 4.

The top 4-6 in England now will be the top 4-6 for a long time i only see Spurs maybe falling out for a while if they lose Kane and/or Pochettino.
 

BlueMoonOutcast

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Liverpool breaking the law hacking City's database? Liverpool's owners in one of the biggest cheating scandals in the US? Yup, time for another swipe at City in the media.
 

cyberman

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Dont worry, theyre totally close to overtaking our revenue next year guys.
Real close
 

fergiesarmy1

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Liverpool breaking the law hacking City's database? Liverpool's owners in one of the biggest cheating scandals in the US? Yup, time for another swipe at City in the media.
How is it a swipe if it’s facts? Do you want it all swept under the carpet? Go ask saracens what cooking the books and paying staff double bubble what really happens. if football wasn’t so corrupt, your lucky the governing body is almost as dirty as city.
 

OldSchoolManc

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The big problem for me, with the cooking of the books, is that it has driven up transfer fees and wages across the world.
It’s no wonder that City’s players are never heard of being linked with other teams.
It’s because they and their agents are getting way more than is official.
 

RedFan84

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In the 90's a decent cash injection propelled smaller clubs like Blackburn, Newcastle and Leeds not only into the top 4 but title contention. Thats not possible today without state backing beyond the odd anomaly like Leicester.
It's still possible to be title contenders and have a reasonable net spend. Look at liverpool of the last 2 years. Tottenham in the Leicester year.
 

The Boogeyman

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The big problem for me, with the cooking of the books, is that it has driven up transfer fees and wages across the world.
It’s no wonder that City’s players are never heard of being linked with other teams.
It’s because they and their agents are getting way more than is official.
Right. I feel like it's pretty obvious that they've been doing something like this to keep up with FFP. United, Liverpool, Chelsea, etc are all wealthy clubs that are trying hard to win. It makes no sense that City can blow away the other clubs' spending when they don't have a larger profile or support, either in England or abroad.
 

devlinadl

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Liverpool breaking the law hacking City's database? Liverpool's owners in one of the biggest cheating scandals in the US? Yup, time for another swipe at City in the media.
Classic case of “what-about-ism”. Doesn’t address any of the charges and just throws dirt elsewhere is a desperate attempt to distract.
 

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We all knew that something fishy was going on at City. Hope they get caught out, and deducted lots of points.
 

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It's still possible to be title contenders and have a reasonable net spend. Look at liverpool of the last 2 years. Tottenham in the Leicester year.
Aye, relying on stupid clubs to overpay for your players is a great strategy. Also, pointing to outliers further proves the actual rule of how hard it is to win without money, because if you try doing it the right way you get reamed by the bigger clubs (cf Liverpool and Southampton).

But this is something I've been consistent about since I started watching football. I have no patience for fans of traditional big clubs who make out about fairness when it comes to this topic.
 
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cyberman

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Aye, relying on stupid clubs to overpay for your players is a great strategy. Also, pointing to outliers further proves the actual rule of how hard it is to win without money, because if you try doing it the right way you get reamed by the bigger clubs (cf Liverpool and Southampton).

But this is something I've been consistent about since I started watching football. I have no patience for fans of traditional big clubs who make out about fairness when it comes to this topic.
Who else, besides Man City, is making it hard for clubs to compete without shit loads of money?
 

RedFan84

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Aye, relying on stupid clubs to overpay for your players is a great strategy. Also, pointing to outliers further proves the actual rule of how hard it is to win without money, because if you try doing it the right way you get reamed by the bigger clubs (cf Liverpool and Southampton).

But this is something I've been consistent about since I started watching football. I have no patience for fans of traditional big clubs who make out about fairness when it comes to this topic.
Not disagreeing about that. There is a level of disparity when it comes to Liverpool and Southampton. I'm just saying it is possible be competitive in the league by having a smart recruitment strategy regardless of the size of the club

Maybe an idealistic position for me.
 

adexkola

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Who else, besides Man City, is making it hard for clubs to compete without shit loads of money?
I don't think it's indisputable that without a huge cash injection, it is extremely hard, even with astute management, to make it to the top of the football pyramid. That has been the case even before City (and Chelsea) came into the picture.

For the record, City should be punished for breaching rules they agreed to. Do I respect the rules? No.

Not disagreeing about that. There is a level of disparity when it comes to Liverpool and Southampton. I'm just saying it is possible be competitive in the league by having a smart recruitment strategy regardless of the size of the club

Maybe an idealistic position for me.
It's absolutely possible. What are the odds though?
 

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Anyone even remotely surprised has been living in denial, but also anyone expecting anything to be done about it is a lunatic.

We've known they were cooked since day one.